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DCSmith

Single words from multiword phrases returned in search

Question

Can this be stopped?

Example, I have some images that have "York Harbor Beach" "New England" and "Mothers Beach" (the local nickname for it).

I get search results for

New York

New York Harbor

New York Mothers

England Beach

England 

 

Etc.

The only single words I have from those is "York" and "Beach"

Most of the searches in my Alamy Measures are like this, with zero zooms and clicks of course.

 

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No, it can't.  Phrase tags have higher significance than single words, so images with them should appear higher in searches than images with single word tags, but that's the best you can do for your own images.

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I agree it is a pain, and the only consolation is that it is a pain which affects all contributors in the same way, so hopefull0,y we operate on a level playing field.

 

I'm not privy to the way Alamy's search engine works internally. However,  I can't help but think that  there must be a way to tweak the search algoritham so that tags which are phrases have a stronger integrity as a single string (as opposed to being treated as individual words) when addressed by the search mechanism, so that they are effectively treated as one word. This must surely happen to some extent already because, as Spacecadet says, images tagged with relevant phrases appear above those with single word tags. If this could be strengthened, the scourge of false positives might be reduced, if not eliminated.

 

Of course it is always possible that they have already pushed their systems to the limit in this respect and we are already living in the best of all posssible search worlds. Who knows?

 

 

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1 hour ago, DCSmith said:

Can this be stopped?

 

It could be but Alamy choose not to (which is a shame). However images where the customer search only matches a single word from a phrase are supposed to appear lower down in search results, reducing (but not eliminating) unwanted views.

 

Mark

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I think this is quite deliberate on their part. They have said that if you put African Lion you don't have to also put Lion.

 

Paulette

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Early settlers in Ontario Canada were mostly from the UK. So in my  area in Canada I have place names like Whitby, Highland Creek, London, Windsor, Cobourg, Uxbridge, Bradford, Scotch Block, Cambridge, Stratford, Paris, Little Britain, the list goes on.

 

As a partial solution I would use keyword phrases like "London Ontario", "London Canada", but never "London" all on its own, unless it is the London in the UK. I think it places my "London Canada" images lower in a search for only "London" so they are unlikely to become false positives.

 

If a client searches only on "London" when they want the London in Canada they will be faced with 6,436,237 images so will go back and narrow their search to "London Canada" for instance. "London Canada" returns 2,636 images, lots of images still from London UK, but much closer to their needs.

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A few people are not quite understanding.

My example is:

I have an image that has the phrases 

"York Harbor Beach"
"New England"
"Mothers Beach" 

and the images are coming up in searches for


"New York"


"New York Harbor"

"New York Mothers"

Etc.
 

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We understand perfectly. See my post.

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

We understand perfectly. See my post.

You have, some other may not have.

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4 hours ago, DCSmith said:

Can this be stopped?

Example, I have some images that have "York Harbor Beach" "New England" and "Mothers Beach" (the local nickname for it).

I get search results for

New York

New York Harbor

New York Mothers

England Beach

England 

 

Etc.

The only single words I have from those is "York" and "Beach"

Most of the searches in my Alamy Measures are like this, with zero zooms and clicks of course.

 

 

 

How would you stop it?  Only take exact match, which would mean a search for "Harbor Beach, New England" would skip your image.

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

How would you stop it?  Only take exact match, which would mean a search for "Harbor Beach, New England" would skip your image.


One solution might be to be able to remove certain combinations from search on a per image basis.

In this example, since "New York" is repeatedly coming up for them  a "NOT New+York" in the keyword that would prevent those images from appearing and being counted against the CTR.

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Any word from any part of a keyword phrase can be returned with any randon word from the caption in a search.

If the searcher searches "New York" they should get a much cleaner search, but if Measures is anything to go by, a surprisingly tiny proportion of Alamy buyers do that.

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1 minute ago, DCSmith said:


One solution might be to be able to remove certain combinations from search on a per image basis.

In this example, since "New York" is repeatedly coming up for them  a "NOT New+York" in the keyword that would prevent those images from appearing and being counted against the CTR.

 

 

I guess for most the feeling is that it's equal for everyone.  Also, since your image will never be zoomed on a New York search, it should stop appearing in the search.  I truly think the algorithm is the key.

 

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Just now, Cryptoprocta said:

Any word from any part of a keyword phrase can be returned with any randon word from the caption in a search.

If the searcher searches "New York" they should get a much cleaner search, but if Measures is anything to go by, a surprisingly tiny proportion of Alamy buyers do that.

Yes, that's exactly the problem.

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

I guess for most the feeling is that it's equal for everyone.  Also, since your image will never be zoomed on a New York search, it should stop appearing in the search.  I truly think the algorithm is the key.

 

The question is, does it just rank lower in a search for New York, or does it get ranked lower in all searches because it has a low CTR because it appears in too many unrelated searches?

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Just now, DCSmith said:

Yes, that's exactly the problem.

 

 

but it's a problem for everyone.  so in the end it should even out.  My "Mosaic Wall" in "Berlin"  gets hits on Berlin Wall

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2 minutes ago, DCSmith said:

Yes, that's exactly the problem.

I've been banging on about this for ten years.

The real mystery is why Alamy buyers don't complain about their results. Maybe they blame us thinking we're spamming a lot, but you'd think they wouldn't be happy about that either.

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Just now, meanderingemu said:

 

 

but it's a problem for everyone.  so in the end it should even out.  My "Mosaic Wall" in "Berlin"  gets hits on Berlin Wall

I get really weird combos, but it's the buyers who really matter.

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3 minutes ago, DCSmith said:

The question is, does it just rank lower in a search for New York, or does it get ranked lower in all searches because it has a low CTR because it appears in too many unrelated searches?

 

Considering it is the first image searching "York Harbor Beach""  i guess it has not been affected

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2 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

but it's a problem for everyone.  so in the end it should even out.  My "Mosaic Wall" in "Berlin"  gets hits on Berlin Wall

Your assuming that this issue affects everyone equally overall.  Not necessarily the case.

If someone shoots New York scenes exclusively, and never shoots in York, Maine or York,  England or anywhere else where there's a York, they're not getting dinged,

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3 minutes ago, DCSmith said:

Your assuming that this issue affects everyone equally overall.  Not necessarily the case.

If someone shoots New York scenes exclusively, and never shoots in York, Maine or York,  England or anywhere else where there's a York, they're not getting dinged,

 

 

Actually shooting in York , Maine or York, England should not return for New York, except if you have an image of New Kids of the Block.  but that's irrelevant. 

 

 

And the Person shooting New York,  will get hit by search for York and derivatives. For example on the actual search for "York Street", 99% of hits were false positives. 

 

 

 

and again, how as it affected the ranking, if your image is the first one for "York Harbor Beach"", out of 14 pages?

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My New York images have ended up in searches for "York,"  "New England" for "England,"  "New London Connecticut" for "London"...and the list goes on - several pages of my views are searches where, despite careful keywording, and not using single words, they show up in random searches where you would think that they should not be popping up on one of the first couple of pages. I shoot a lot in New England and the overlap with British place names is pretty common. 

 

And although my name is not in my keywords, random images of mine show up when someone searches for "Marianne ________(pick a last name)" 

 

If I wasn't so tired I could probably bore you with hundreds of other examples...

 

At one point, Alamy encouraged us to go through and put quotations around phrases in anticipation of changing the search engine. Many here invested hours re-keywording, and then they never made the change, Worse, I have images from that time that have ended up with over 100 keywords and they were all split into single words making their appearance in irrelevant searches even more likely thanks to that hard work. 

 

I'd guess this is especially annoying for people who live in the US, Canada, Australia, or other former colonies with place names that mimic Great Britain, and I guess when someone searches for "New _____(any British place name)" in one of those former colonies,  our UK colleagues's images show up as well.  

 

We are all in the same boat, but it is frustrating to know that half of the searches my photos show up in are for the wrong term, because Alamy decided to structure their search in such a way that it can't be avoided. And given that they encouraged us to re-keyword for a proposed search change where this type of false hit could be avoided, it was obviously a decision on their part and not a limit to what is possible, even years ago. To then penalize us by relying on CTR when so many false hits are due to the search structure seems unfair, but it probably does even out for most of us, though maybe those who tend to shoot more in countries where the names don't overlap those in other parts of the world have an advantage. Who knows. 

 

Just do your best to keyword and know that you are far from alone. 

 

 

 

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If I had my druthers, we'd be able to put a + between words that are meant to be searched together. So New+York would not turn up responses for York.

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I'd love to know why two of my images turned up for a search for "trick or treaters line at house" when their caption and keyword have neither 'trick' or 'treaters' anywhere.

line is taken from 'washing line' and house from 'Council House'.

Somehow, there are 143,846 hits on that search. My two pics show up in the top 100 sorted by 'Relevant', but I have to say that neither Creative nor Relevant show the sort of images the searcher was probably looking for.

 

My caption:

Red, white and blue clothes hanging on a line outside the Council House in Victoria Square, Birmingham. 4SquaresWeekender.

 

My Keywords:

clothes hanging from line

laundry

red white blue

Council House

town Hall

4 Squares Weekender

festival

laundry line

Victoria Square

British

4SquaresWeekender

outdoors

outdoor festival

city centre

washing line

Great Britain

Europe

United Kingdom

England

English

European

Four Squares weekender

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vatbj5sluoyz7x1/trickOrTreaters.jpg?dl=0

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

I'd love to know why two of my images turned up for a search for "trick or treaters line at house" when their caption and keyword have neither 'trick' or 'treaters' anywhere.

line is taken from 'washing line' and house from 'Council House'.

Somehow, there are 143,846 hits on that search. My two pics show up in the top 100 sorted by 'Relevant', but I have to say that neither Creative nor Relevant show the sort of images the searcher was probably looking for.

 

My caption:

Red, white and blue clothes hanging on a line outside the Council House in Victoria Square, Birmingham. 4SquaresWeekender.

 

My Keywords:

clothes hanging from line

laundry

red white blue

Council House

town Hall

4 Squares Weekender

festival

laundry line

Victoria Square

British

4SquaresWeekender

outdoors

outdoor festival

city centre

washing line

Great Britain

Europe

United Kingdom

England

English

European

Four Squares weekender

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vatbj5sluoyz7x1/trickOrTreaters.jpg?dl=0

 

 

 

 

reported bug which Alamy is investigating,  See other thread

https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/12146-strange-result-from-measures/

 

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